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paulraphael

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  1. paulraphael

    Ice Cream!

    Peaches are pretty close to strawberries in terms of sugars and solids, so if you have a strawberry recipe you like you can probably adapt for peaches without too much rejiggering.
  2. Same experience here. As far as which is the best form of yeast, if you're interested in predictable and repeatable results, instant yeast is by far the best. It has the highest percentage of live yeast organisms, and is quite stable if stored well. Fresh yeast has the lowest percentage of live organisms and is the least stable; active dry is somewhere in the middle. They're all the exact same yeast strain. The strong yeast aroma from fresh yeast is partly from it being already hydrated and active, and partly because you have to use so much more of it (most of the critters are dead). Yeast flavor in bread is traditionally regarded as a flaw, but if you like it (I know some bakers who do) you could more reliably achieve it by using instant yeast for leavening and then adding brewer's yeast (inactive) for flavor. The last few years I've gone in the opposite direction, to sourdough. I like the flavor enough that I'm willing to wrestle with the unknowns, and the unknown unknowns.
  3. I've never gone to an air-b-n-b expecting to cook much, but often have this problem when cooking at friends' and relatives' houses. The problem is that what people will have—and not have—can strain the imagination. Someone will have a digital smoker, convection steam oven, Vita-Prep, deep fryer, and rice cooker, but they won't have a strainer. That kind of thing. You'd never anticipate it. If I'm cooking a meal in a strange kitchen, I ask a lot of question, even if they sound ridiculous ("that's so cool that you have an anti-griddle. Do you have a whisk?"). So my cooking go-bag and knife roll get customized for each meal. It will always include a chef's knife ... either my nice gyuto or a heavy German one, depending on the meal and the chances of someone getting their hands on it. I also usually bring a small assortment of potions, like xanthan gum, arrowroot, and maybe some other hydrocolloids that can come in handy and that no one has. Other likely candidates: -long tongs -silicone spatula -very small whisk -fish spat -bamboo spatula (I love these and have replaced all wooden spoons with them) -thermocouple -remote probe thermometer -microplane -kuhn-rikon peeler -small fine chinois -another relevant knife or 2
  4. Every consumer appliance company I've seen fudges their numbers. Even Vita-Mix's horsepower math doesn't add up. The more honest companies (like Hobart) measure output horsepower. This is one reason a 5qt Hobart rated at 1/5 horsepower could whip any of these higher-rated consumer mixers into light, greasy mousse. Ignoring the dumb numbers, the newer 7qt KA models use a much heavier motor than previous generations, and a heavier transmission with planetary gears. These run quiet and should be better at bread than any previous versions. My older style Pro 600 has made a lot of bread and pasta and other abusive things. It's pretty loud, though, and I'm careful with it. I know what a straining motor sounds / feels / smells like, and I'm never far from the on-off switch. Using the new model should be more casual.
  5. It's probably hard to generalize, and has more to do with the efficiency of the burner. Carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete combustion. If your burner is working at 100% efficiency, and the fuel is 100% pure (neither is likely in the real world) then the only combustion products will be carbon dioxide and water vapor. In real life, there's always some small portion of carbon monoxide and soot, regardless of the fuel.
  6. The answer to that, especially since you have a crowd of guinea pigs, is to do a triangle test. If you still have any of the frozen meat left, prepare some bite-sized samples on plates, marked only on the bottom of the plates. Everyone gets three samples (two of one batch, one of another, randomized). Everyone votes on which samples taste better. Then you correlate the votes with what's what. The first thing you look at: did people distinguish between the two batches? Or did people consistently say that B tastes better than C, when on their plates B and C were the same thing? As far as making sense, who knows ... that's a hell of a chemistry experiment, with uncountable variables. Seasonings like soy sauce and worcestershire are complex fermentation products in and of themselves. My worry with pre-seasoning is the salt. You're giving the salt enough time to start curing the meat, which will give it a sausage-like texture. The process will be slowed or even halted by a deep freeze, will be active during all the time spent freezing and thawing. Possibly, though, this is happening, and one of the qualities that your family likes.
  7. I'd start by tasting your strawberries. Unless you're getting really great ones at the peak of season, you may find that they're more than acidic enough on their own. Some of the early batches of strawberry ice cream I made this season included citric acid (in the form of lemon juice), and came out so tart that it could have passed for frozen yogurt. Leaving out all additional acids gave results that were plenty tart. But if you feel you have to add acid, just throw in a bit of lemon juice, as T2C said. It will add much more citric acid than lemon flavor.
  8. I never looked at the instructions. Just sear them on each side on a very hot skillet, then turn the heat low and flip a few times during the next few minutes. If you time it right they're convincingly pink and juicy in the middle, with a pretty crisp sear on the outside. I like to give a splash of worcestershire sauce on each side before cooking. Maybe this is cheating? It's worth it. Also, non-plant-based aged cheddar helps.
  9. If you're selling everything fresh it's probably nothing to worry about. Restaurants can sell fresh fruit desserts without making people sick. With some products that will sit around longer (like commercial sorbets ... if you're selling pints to grocery stores) health codes may require that the fruit be pasteurized. Since eclairs and things only last a day regardless of what you fill them with, i'm guessing you're ok, and could just go with the modified starches. If you ever do get a rotovap, beware! You'll become a mad scientist and will go down rabbit holes you've never imagined.
  10. I've got a Bratza Maestro, which is their discontinued bottom-end model. Bought sometime around 2006. The new equivalent is the Encore, which goes for around $140, but much less if you get a refurb (I bought mine refurbished; I think it was around $90). I use it exclusively for press pot coffee, and it only let me down once. I think there was a pebble in the coffee; a sacrificial part immediately stripped, and the grinder would no longer hold a grind setting. I called Baratza tech support, and gave them the opportunity to upsell me to a newer, higher-end grinder. But when I told the technician I only used it for coarse grinds, he said, "honestly, nothing's going to work better than the one you have." So he sold me the $5 replacement part and pointed me to a YouTube video on how to repair the thing. Easy peasy. I'm blown away by a company that sells replacement parts for a decade+ old low end grinder, and is honest about when not to upgrade. Anyway, I'd heartily recommend the Encore to anyone making press pot coffee, and a higher-end Baratza to anyone making brewed coffee with finer grinds (look elsewhere for espresso grinders). My only complaint about the Baratza is that it's all plastic and kind of cheap feeling. And it's noisy. It's noisier than the Capresso, but based on my limited experience with the latter, it seems to have a wider range of adjustment on the coarse end of things.
  11. Try this, as a trehalose-free version. It's pretty close. Total solids are a bit lower. (for 500g) 32g Water 375g Strawberry 17g Inulin 22g Dextrose 38g Atomized Glucose DE40 15g Erythritol 1g CMC 0.5g guar 0.5g lambda carrageenan 0.5g Salt
  12. That's annoying. I'm running into this kind of thing all the time when consulting people in other countries. Some ingredients that really don't seem all that exotic can be nearly impossible to find, unless you're shopping for industrial quantities. I'll come up with a version that doesn't use trehalose. It's an ingredient I don't bother with in ice cream because it's functionally very close to lactose, which is vital, and which makes up half of all the milk solids. But you can't really get away with putting milk solids in sorbet ...
  13. We had some Impossible Burgers the other day at a fast food place (Bareburger) and it was interesting to compare to our experience of Beyond Burgers. I think the Impossible version tasted a bit more convincingly like a real burger. But it wasn't necessarily better. This had me thinking that simulating beef doesn't have to be the goal. I know that vegetarian places have been serving things like mushroom burgers for a while ... unfortunately I haven't tried them. But it seems like there's an almost unlimited potential for deliciousness with a mushroom burger, especially if you were to bring in some of the tastier mushroom varieties, and maybe incorporate some of the fat technology from the new hi tech burgers. These things could be an umami bomb. I'm imagining a bit of aged parmesan and shallot and sherry vinegar in the mix.
  14. With most complex stuff (especially fermented / distilled / aged stuff) there are thousands of organic compounds present. But scientists usually find it's a relatively small number that are responsible for the sensory qualities. The trick is figuring out exactly which ones matter and which ones don't. With something like scotch, the knowledge is probably incomplete. This doesn't mean it won't be solved eventually. I don't see the labelling / regulatory barriers as being a problem. Why does it have to be called scotch? If you call it something else, you won't run afoul of the rules, and you won't piss off the purists (as much).
  15. Breville's carved out a niche in espresso machines. By all accounts they make good espresso, and have some features missing from most prosumer e-61 machines, and do it all at a significantly lower price. But they're consumer appliance-quality machines, full of plastic, and made almost entirely with proprietary parts. If something fails and you're out of warranty, you rely on Breville's good will to get you a replacement part. It's unclear if they're available at all. The e-61 machines are generally commercial quality (designed for years of holding back heat / pressure / water / electricity) and are made almost entirely from standard industrial parts. All the valves, solenoids, tubes, heating coils, thermocouples, switches, etc. can just be bought from an industrial supply catalog. The brain boxes for the PID controls can be bought from 3rd parties, with their model-specific programming. So people keep these things running for 20 or 30 years. It's a very different value proposition. [And Rotus makes good points about the built-in grinder. That's a pretty big wild card]
  16. There are a few sellers on Amazon. I bought this version. Also I asked Modernist Pantry if they'd consider carrying the handful of these ingredients that they don't already. They're looking into it.
  17. $400. Isn't that half the price of PolyScience Chef?
  18. Yeah, that's why for sorbets I've been using a refractometer. If the Brix of a berry is, say 50% higher than average, then you calculate the formula by multiplying the solids, the POD (sweetness), and the freezing point depression by 1.5. This would definitely change the balance of added sugars.
  19. You can also cut watermelon into long pieces, freeze them, squeeze some lime over them, and enjoy natures perfect popsicles.
  20. This. It's not just European law; it's the convention in the industry. When you see a bar labelled 70% cocoa solids, that 70% includes the cocoa butter. The remaining 30% is sugar, or maybe also a tiny bit of lecithin and vanilla. A 70% cocoa solids chocolate typically breaks down to something like 33% cocoa, 37% cocoa butter, 30% sugar. A 100% bar might be 48% cocoa, 52% cocoa butter. You usually can only get the exact breakdown if it's couverture and the company anticipates selling to pastry chefs. I find that with cocoa powder, the higher quality ones often have more cocoa butter rather than less. I wish this weren't the case ... usually the reason I use cocoa powder is to avoid the cocoa butter.
  21. I'm a fan of the size and the build quality. Not the interface (or lack thereof) and the connected stuff. Please write a screenplay about the great North Korean sous vide hack. I'm sure everyone in this forum would show up at the box office (if no one else).
  22. That was a typo ... should be 1.2% sucrose. But you're still right, that's very little, even with 75% berries.
  23. I'm sure there's a range of preference regarding texture. You can adjust for more or less creaminess just by varying the amount of inulin. You shouldn't have to compensate by changing anything else. The more important fix, in my opinion, is the sweetness. I just can't taste any subtleties, or enjoy anything, when it's as sweet as a 20% or 25% sugar solution. It just grosses me out. I've tried Jo's approach of just spinning fruit puree. It's just too hard and icy for me. But at home we often take that minimalist approach even farther: we eat frozen berries, whole. It's refreshing and delicious. Just let them warm up to the point where they're soft enough to bite, and they literally melt in your mouth. It's not sorbet ... delicious, but different.
  24. I've been working on sorbets since last summer, with what seemed like a humble goal: make them edible. The truth is, I'd never had good sorbet, even when made by the world's best pastry chefs. It's always been at least a little icy. It's always had a short texture. There's never been any creaminess. And it's always been mind-blowingly, pancreas-killingly, tooth-achingly sweet. I don't know how people eat it. These flaws are there for structural reasons. It's really hard to make a true sorbet with decent body and adequate freezing point depression without sweetness levels that could kill a bee. And it's hard to do creaminess without ... cream. I still have work to do on watery fruits (watermelon) and very acidic ones (lemon). But for berries and pulpy fruits, this problem is solved. It requires a good number of unconventional ingredients, but if you like to wear your lab coat in the kitchen, and you have access to really good fruit, I think it's worth it. The basic formula: 75% fruit, 25% science. Strawberry recipe, with some explanation, here.
  25. The simple fact that the unit won't work unless paired to an account should be cause to boycott it. This means, fundamentally, that you bought it but you don't own it. Buying something like this is a declaration of absolute trust, not just in the company's leadership, but in all future leaders, regardless of what happens economically or who acquires them. This argument is laid out pretty well by Wired, in reference to Microsoft's recent eBook atrocities: https://www.wired.com/story/microsoft-ebook-apocalypse-drm/ For what its worth, I like Breville, and aside from the mandatory connectedness issue, I like the looks of the Joule. But I would never buy it.
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